RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.
A group of GOP politicians, including two likely presidential candidates, have decided to appear in a documentary with anti-gay radicals accusing the equality movement of trying to ban religion. Such politicians already kowtow to extreme voices like Rush Limbaugh and the anti-government ideologues at Fox News, so it makes sense that they are now joining together to make absurd claims about the supposed dangers of gay rights in America.
5) Gay Dictatorship
Janet Porter is one of the most extreme right-wing conspiracy theorists in the country, but that didn’t stop Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul and several GOP House members from appearing in her new film project about how gay rights advocates are bent on outlawing Christianity.
The Republican politicians join the likes of Scott Lively, the far-right pastor who wrote a book blaming gay people for the Holocaust and helped to shape draconian anti-gay laws in Uganda and Russia, and David Barton, the Christian Nationalist “historian” who claims God is blocking an HIV/AIDS cure and fears that public schools “force” students “to be homosexual.”
Naturally, the trailer features Porter holding a lantern in the dark woods, which is presumably where conservative Christians will have to hide after gay rights supporters take over and “criminalize Christianity.”
4) Gay Armageddon
Robert Jeffress, a leading Southern Baptist pastor whose anti-Mormon remarks directed at Mitt Romney made him a source of controversy in the 2012 presidential race, is out with a new End Times book titled “Countdown to the Apocalypse: Why ISIS and Ebola Are Only the Beginning.”
“I think the greatest sign of the End Times that we see in our country right now is the increasing moral disorder in our country that we’re seeing played out in our culture right now,” Jeffress told James Dobson. “Especially in the realm of gay marriage. What was thought to be unbelievable just 10 or 20 years ago, our culture is now celebrating. A perversion that was once condemned is now celebrated.”
3) Net Neutrality Demagoguery
Conservatives may not know what net neutrality means, but they are definitely against it. After all, President Obama is for it, so therefore it must be bad.
Rush Limbaugh, for example, alleged on Monday a that net neutrality may lead to restrictions on Fox News and conservative talk radio.
As Tim Karr of Free Press told Media Matters, net neutrality would have no effect on such conservative media outlets, and would only prevent corporations like Verizon from “privileg[ing] certain Web sites and to slow down others so that they can have more control over the future of this communications medium.”
2) Blaming Immigrants For Measles
Even though there is absolutely no evidence that immigrants from Central American countries with higher vaccination rates than the U.S. are responsible for the recent measles outbreak, conservative talk radio hosts are pretty sure that they are indeed to blame, specifically the unaccompanied minors who made national news last summer.
At a Senate hearing this week, newly elected Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., asked CDC official Dr. Anne Schuchat, about the role of immigrants in the measles outbreak that began at Disneyland in California.
Schuchat noted that “most of the importation that we have of measles each year are in Americans who are traveling abroad and come back,” such as unvaccinated Amish missionaries who went to the Philippines and “brought the virus back to Ohio” to a community where “very few people had been immunized.” In an exchanged highlighted by Talking Points Memo, Schuchat added that while Latin American countries have “had great success” in vaccinating people against measles, the virus in California is more concentrated in wealthy areas where some people have objections to vaccines.
1) Big Government’s Forced Abortions
After Obama came out in favor of strong laws requiring the vaccination of children from preventable illnesses such as measles, some commentators at Fox News reflexively rallied against the cause.
Fox News analyst Andrew Napolitano feared that as a result of such vaccination laws, “the presumption of individual liberty guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution has been surreptitiously discarded, and there will be no limit to what the government can compel us to do or to what it can extract from us – in the name of science or any other of its modern-day gods.”
Fox News guest Jonathan Hoenig went even further, saying that vaccinations “should never be forced, never be required by government even for the so-called public good.”
“Think about where this could lead if government gets involved in science and medicine,” Hoenig said. “You know, forced sterilizations, forced abortion, forced pills, forced treatments.”
Hoenig said that instead of requiring people to give their children Big Government vaccines, the government should instead just forcibly quarantine people who have an infectious disease.